The history of smart-cards and their place in modern Russia

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This project can real working example of applying smart-cards for corporate needs. But I would like to notice that not all features were used in this project. Using some additional wallets project owner could have more effective and profitable system.

The place of smart-cards in modern Russia

In this chapter I mean smart-cards under “plastic cards” term. Because magnetic line cards and memory cards have little chance for success in Russia.

Our plastic cards market is rather a collage picture. Before 90’s plastic cards was so badly known that they even were not shown in Soviet films that showed disadvantages of Western style of living. Meanwhile, plastic cards are so deeply integrated in American and Western style of living that person who has rather big sum of money is cash almost immediately gains the reputation of a criminal.

Plastic cards are not so wide spread in Russia as in Europe and of course in the United States. Obviously, the reason is in the lack of necessity of everyday cashless payments We also have to take average income in our country into consideration which, unfortunately does not let many citizens to have enough free money to place then on a card. There are still many obstacles in operating plastic cards in Russia: from simple tradition to call pieces of paper in a pocket money to elementary distrust, fear to become a victim of another “MMM” speculation project.

Hence placing plastic card into operation in further 3-5 year would not bring a satisfactory result to any bank, no matter how reliable it is. The success can be reached only by uniting all existing systems into one national payment system. But this perspective is now very attractive to the majority of banks as they are afraid to depend on bigger and stronger banking groups. Beside that the present level of telecommunication systems and banking equipment will not let such project to be realized. And great investments are needed for many banks to proceed the convertion from magnetic line cards to smart-cards. That’s why I consider putting smart-cards into operation in Russia rather disappointing in the nearest years.

I think the solution of this problem is in replacing existing systems of cashless payments with smart-cards technology. Lets take transport fuel coupons as an example. Obviously, introducing plastic cards in this sphere will meet the lowest resistance of citizens who got accustomed to other kinds of cashless payment for fuel. Such systems are good for both: people and oil companies. People are glad to carry one small card instead of a bunch of coupons and to be sure that nobody else would use their fuel credit even if their card is stolen. Oil companies gets valuable assets with such systems as they ensure themselves from serious losses connected with coupon falsification. And if we mention speeding up money return, it becomes absolutely clear that such systems will soon appear in our life. After fuel smart cards are introduced, additional wallets can be added to the same cards. For example, on one and the same card fuel credits can be recorded (in litres), some technical service for cliens car (in working hours), dinners in filling station cafe (in number of dinners). It that situation our driver can travel with a little sum in cash and his smart-card.

Besides, using plastic cards instead of coupons territory depending problem can be easily solved, as direct and strong “coupon” connections already exists through oil companies.

Thus, in my opinion, the process of introduction plastic cards should start not from banking but from trading sphere. The ideal case could be the combination of corporate, banking and international cards into one.

Plastic card payments in Internet

Another stimulus for developing smart-cards is active growth of selling trough international computer network Internet. Unfortunately it has not received enough development in Russia. Although there are companies selling goods through Internet (music CD, books, computer) payments are still processed after an old manner: client pays the money after he gets the good at the post office. Hence there are some noticeable losses because of payment delays.

Реферат опубликован: 30/04/2009